“The generosity of Equity Foundation, its scholarship funds, and its donors has brought immediate and practical relief to our family by eliminating the daunting gap leftover from loans and college financial aid. My year no longer hinges on a successful food stamps application and a harrowing 6 month plan, and that removes a great weight.
But beyond the obvious monetary benefit, there is also a tangible psychological sense of support that being an Equity scholarship recipient has given me. When I applied for art colleges I was already solid in my ultimate, guiding career goal: use my art to create narratives, primarily through comics, that humanize queer and especially transgender communities. I have known I wanted to do this for years and have been lucky to receive the support of those closest to me. When total strangers, however, make it their mission to help fund the pursuits of a minority to which you belong, and choose to invest in you, that brings an entirely different kind of motivation. Without having seen my art at all, the crux of my life’s purpose, Equity chose to support it – and that’s very powerful. That’s a symbol of faith. That gives me a sense of direct community support that I can call upon to help quell my doubts and fears when they arise.
The best way, the only way, that I can return this gesture of trust is to follow through on my claims: to remain dedicated to my pursuit, and through art, help improve the visibility and conditions of queer and trans people. And so on both counts, the practical and the symbolic, Equity has helped me a great deal.”
Emeric Kennard received the Jessica Dolin Memorial Scholarship and the Gregori Jakovina Scholarship. He graduated from West Linn High School in 2013 and is currently attending California College of the Arts.